At the beginning of your service as volunteers of World Youth Day in Krakow, we hear today the words that are the heart of the Good News and the answer to the deepest longings of the human heart. Jesus professes his love to us, calls us friends and promises the gift of the purest joy, whose source is lasting in the love of God and sharing it with our brothers. He reminds us that none of us is here by accident. You have come here from various corners of Poland and the world, because it was Jesus who chose and loved you, before you chose and loved Him.
When we hear the Gospel about true love, we become aware that our, human love is faulty and full of weakness. It can hurt and cause pain. It is sometimes fleeting and all too often rejected, often confused with emotions. We are inclined to all too quickly give our hearts to counterfeits of love, which the world to readily suggests. Trusting the world, we lose our ability to differentiate real love rom its substitutes. More and more often we also have a problem with giving love, but also with receiving love.
In the meantime Jesus comes to us and says: love and another as I have loved you. This is not a love what we can find in ourselves, that we can work toward. This is love that we experience from God Himself and only thanks to this love we can love others. This is the love of the Father, which is the source of our existence and its only meaning. This love without hesitation lays down its life. Not necessarily in an act of martyrdom, but in simple everyday life, in giving ourselves to the other person. Jesus doesn’t want us to love each other with love full of bursts of passion and poetry. He wishes that we would love each other with His love, love till the end, day after day, hour after hour. He doesn’t expect an abstract love of the whole world from us, because building a civilisation of love begins with the concreteness of the ordinary, with relationship with our close ones, among people whom we live with, who re at arm’s length from us.
Dear friends of Jesus! You are hear, at he sources of mercy that beat in the Sanctuary in Łagiewniki, because you responded to Jesus’ choice with the choice of your heart. Have courage to search for true love. Recognize it in the eyes of the merciful Lord, who looks at you here with infinitive tenderness. You will be able to experience it in meetings with your brothers, to whom you have been sent, to love them with the love, which has its source in God. Through your hands, words, touch and look He Himself will perform miracles greater than we are capable of imagining. If allow you allow Him, his love will open your hearts and fill them with zeal, commitment and generosity towards those in need of your council, help and kindness. Serve them with the enthusiasm and joy, which – experienced really profoundly and truly – will make you go outside of yourself, to share it with the world.
For this world, tormented with violence, your presence among us is an eloquent sing. Our restless earth is thirsty for peace and hope. You, dear young people, tell the world today that we are all in the hands of the loving God, who gives strength and courage, who is the source of strength and unshakable hope. With your presence here in Krakow’s Łagiewniki, a few days before the beginning of World Youth Day, you tell the world about your certainty, that your future will be built on the most enduring foundations of faith and trust in God, and that the only answer to evil and violence is love and goodness.
The Church in Krakow, the Church of John Paul II and Sister Faustina Kowalska thanks you today for your readiness to recognize the loving God is serving the other person. You have left your activities, your world, you have sacrificed your free time and have come – often contrary to different opinions and suggestions – so as to with us build the work of World Youth Day. In the difficulties of everyday service, in faithfulness t the tasks entrusted to you, in tiredness, but also in joy, humility and hope you will experience the strength of Divine Mercy, which is infinitely greater than our weaknesses and fears. Go therefore with confidence and fill our churches, streets, homes, and city squares with the enthusiasm of your youth, joy of loving faith, sincere love for Jesus and your brothers, prayer flowing from the depth of your warm hearts and zeal of witnesses of Divine Marcy, which is the sign of your relationship with the beloved God.